As part of Entertainment Weekly’s new double-issue devoted to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we spent the week rolling out features, interviews, and photo galleries about the upcoming film.
The goal was to go light on spoilers (there’s nothing here that director J.J. Abrams thinks will ruin anything going in) but we went deep on behind-the scenes details — with a few theories thrown in for fun.
If you want to get the print edition, with Han Solo, Finn, Rey, and R2-D2 and C-3PO on the covers, you can buy copies here For now, here’s the full collection of EW’s recent online stories about Lucasfilm’s return to the galaxy:HARRISON FORD IS HAN SOLO
During a morning spent at his personal airplane hangar, one simple reason for Harrison Ford’s long-standing discomfort with his Star Wars character starts to reveal itself. Here is the hard truth that some, and Ford himself, may find difficult to accept: Harrison Ford is totally Han Solo.EXCLUSIVE GALLERY OF 27 NEW PHOTOS
Also known as: 27 short stories about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We tread lightly on spoilers, but dive into the design of Rey’s desert speeder, Finn’s “real fear” in his lightsaber duel, and how the final day of shooting was an evil, rainy nightmare.SHE’S NOT ‘PRINCESS’ LEIA ANYMORE …
There are heroes, and monsters, a castle, and magic and machines that defy belief. There’s even a princess, although … nobody in the galaxy calls Leia that anymore.MEET LUPITA NYONG’O’S ALIEN MAZ KANATA
One thing we haven’t seen, at least not in any detail, is the character Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o plays in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Maz Kanata, the diminutive alien who narrates the recent TV spot. J.J. Abrams and Nyong’o tell us what we need to know about this 1,000-year-old being …SNOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM
For those frustrated by the lack of information about Supreme Leader Snoke, Andy Serkis feels your pain. When he started work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the performance-capture character, he had no idea either. “It’s the first time I’ve been on set not yet knowing what the character’s gonna look like. I mean, talk about secrecy!” the actor says.MISSING: LUKE SKYWALKER
Luke Skywalker has gone from hero to MacGuffin. Film aficionados know the term, popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, as the object or mystery that drives the story – more Maltese Falcon than Millennium Falcon. It’s the thing the heroes are trying to find, or understand. It’s the puzzle they’re trying to unlock.NEW STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS TV SPOT
Star Wars: The Force Awakens revealed some new scenes as part of ABC’s Thursday night of dramas, with a slightly altered TV spot aimed primarily at the non-geek audience. But there were plenty of dog whistles in those few seconds to tantalize the die-hard fans.STARKILLER BASE AND GENERAL HUX
The giant planet-like weapon hovering in the upper right corner of the official poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens had fans wondering: What the hell is THAT? J.J. Abrams teases some details about the command center for the Imperial remnant known as the First Order – and the man who rules over them.CHANGING STAR WARS – AND OUR WORLD
John Boyega plays the conscience-stricken, AWOL stormtrooper Finn, and Daisy Ridley is the abandoned, desert scrounger Rey. They’re both figures searching for a place to belong in the galaxy, and their mere presence in The Force Awakens – provides its own renewed sense of belonging for fans who’ve longed to see a person of color or a woman at the fore of a Star Wars story.SECRETS OF BB-8
Details on how the roly-poly droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens was created – and do its makers think of it as a “he” or a “she”? Creature shop chief Neal Scanlan calls the droid “a Swiss Army Knife that shouldn’t be trusted.”STAR WARS AND THE POWER OF COSTUME: THE EXHIBITION
How long does it take to put together an exhibit that encompasses more than 30 years of movie magic, more than 70 costumes, and an entire galaxy far, far away? Five years. Well, 10, if you start counting from the moment the Lucas Archives wanted to work with the Smithsonian.Why bad Captain Phasma is good for girls
Gwendoline Christie, the Game of Thrones actress who plays the villainous First Order officer in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, says the story takes a matter-of-fact approach to Captain Phasma’s gender – and that seems to be part of her appeal.FROM AUGUST’S FALL MOVIE PREVIEW: Complete rundown of EW’s Star Wars preview
From Han Solo’s first day on The Force Awakens to Rogue One and the new Star Wars theme park attractions.FROM APRIL’S STAR WARS CELEBRATION: Pick Your Battles: EW’s exclusive Star Wars: The Force Awakens reports
Q&As with the veterans and newcomers to the galaxy far, far away: including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Anthony Daniels.
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For the print version of our Star Wars: The Force Awakens coverage, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on newsstands now, or buy it here.